Man killed by police after chase had history of violence in Johnstown area | New

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — Thursday’s high-speed chase that ended in the death of Krysten Pretlor wasn’t the first time police have pursued the New Jersey native.

Pretlor was the subject of a nationwide manhunt after he was caught on surveillance camera attacking a man outside a Dale Borough Family Dollar store in 2016.

Police Loaded Pretlor shooting the man and then fleeing the area. He was captured six months after the Dale incident while hiding at a boarding house in New Jersey, U.S. Marshals said at the time.

Pretlor was already a convicted felon at the time of the Family Dollar shooting, having served time for making terroristic threats in Blair County. Court records said the case involved an assault on a woman.

At one point he was also listed as a fugitive from justice after giving a false identity to law enforcement in his home state of New Jersey two years earlier.

Pretlor, 35, was among a handful of elusive crime suspects featured in The Tribune-Democrat’s “The Ghosts of Johnstown” series. He was extradited to Cambria County in May 2017 to stand trial for the shooting.

Pretlor was charged with aggravated assault, unlawful possession of a firearm, reckless endangerment and common assault.

This trial never took place.

Past Incidents

Pretlor ended up being convicted on this final misdemeanor count – nine months in prison – because the man he shot, Mbazulwane “Buzz” Gxuluwe, refused to cooperate as a witness in the case. , prosecutors said at the time.

Gxuluwe, then 25, pleaded guilty in Somerset County a week before sentencing to ramming a state police cruiser after trying to flee a drug bust in Conemaugh Township.

Gxuluwe was awaiting trial for the illegal sale of handguns in 2015 and pleaded to drug charges for delivering heroin.

As Pretlor appeared in court in 2017 to receive his own conviction, he told a Cambria County judge that his arrest was a “wake up for me.”

“I’m not going to look for trouble,” he said.

In 2021 he was accused of beating and bruising a Windber woman at his Railroad Street residence, then putting three people in danger.

Police said he “walked towards” them as he fled.

Pretlor told several people at the scene, including relatives of the woman, that he “knows people who will take care of them” if they call the police about the incident.

But the most serious charges, including aggravated assault, had to be dropped after several witnesses to the incident refused to testify, Somerset County Acting District Attorney Molly Metzgar said Friday.

At least said they wouldn’t appear in the same courtroom as Pretlor, she said.

Police chase

Online court records show Pretlor was still on probation for Thursday’s crime ahead of his latest run-in with police.

Investigators say a ‘stop and hold’ was issued after he was charged with assaulting a domestic partner at his Richland Township residence.

A winding chase, at times 100mph, through Johnstown and into Indiana and Westmoreland counties ended Thursday afternoon when police said they performed a ‘PIT maneuver’ – a tactical effort to stop a vehicle hitting him with a police car.

Investigators say Pretlor was shot after failing to comply with orders after his vehicle was stopped.

Authorities said Pretlor was armed and said they were looking for video evidence captured along the chase to trace any shots fired during the incident, but did not say what prompted police to shoot or if Pretlor fired his gun.

An investigation into the incident was underway Friday by the Westmoreland County Prosecutors Office and Westmoreland County Coroner Timothy Carson.

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